CES 2007: TI has its cake and eats it with DLP and LED displays

Posted by Aaron McKenna

Las Vegas (NV) - All around Vegas there is to be found an enigmatic advertisement from Texas Instruments: "It's all in the mirrors." They are referring to Digital Light Processing, something Texas Instruments invented in 1987 and which they are today putting to use in HD TV's and projectors across the industry.

DLP, for those not familiar with it, is basically a load of very small mirrors - one per pixel on screen. In its most simple form, if you wanted a black and white picture one mirror would be black and the other flipped to reflect light and be white. The colour comes in when you start going to shades of grey and shine different lights at the mirrors.

TI is proud of itself for making the engine smaller and smaller in order to fit in faster turning wheels and get more vivid colours out of TV's made with DLP, minus the problems of LCD and Plasma in burning out, aging and going yellow; and enabling a far higher native contrast. As well as fitting its DLP into any and all TV's and projectors it can find, TI is becoming more and more keen on LED lighting. Of particular interest is the lightweight portability of LED projectors, thanks to the low power usage of LED letting you lug around a battery powered projector.

 

TI DLP

Texas Instruments DLP technology 

 

Of course the colour isn't the best you can find and the prices are a bit steep - with an ultra portable LED being somewhere in the $1000 range - but it is an interesting emerging technology area. Stretching across the LED/DLP barrier is TI's more general vision for the future of projector displays and video gaming. With HD consoles being capable of displaying far larger images than previously possible TI, and a lot of companies we've seen displaying kit with their tech inside it, sees many console gamers using projectors in the future.

The idea is manifold - for one, kick the kids out of the living area and let them play their Wii or Xbox 360 on the wall of their bedrooms. Secondly, how friggen cool is it to get a HD Xbox 360 game going on a wall-sized ad hoc monitor? Manufacturers are showing off stylised projectors which are far smaller and far more aestethically pleasing than your grandaddy's business presentation projector; with projectors made to resemble the architechture of console design.

It would seem that we're no longer going to need to shell out for static 52" TV's to get 52" of HDTV video gaming.